Often we sit down with clients to evaluate their sales enablement goals and are surprised to hear their definition of “Sales Enablement.” For some, the definition includes a broad spectrum of objectives and strategies to ensure the sales team is trained, equipped and supported. But for many, their initial definition is much more limited.
Here are a few signs that your organization has only breached the tip of the sales enablement iceberg.
1. You’re not tracking content usage or consumption.
This point touches on our concerns raised in 4 Signs It’s Time To Pivot Your Sales Strategy. If you don’t have a way to measure past performance, you can’t make strategic adjustments for the future. We’re going to expand on this in the next bullet, but if you currently don’t have a way to track your content usage, then you’re already missing out on a world of powerful sales enablement tools and insight that can revolutionize your team’s performance.
2. Marketing and Sales are still working independently.
We can all agree sales enablement step 1 is centralizing your sales assets. But for organizations who stop here … the problem of disjointed marketing and sales teams often remains unsolved.
A proper sales enablement solution will do more than house your content. It will bring both teams together and encourage constructive collaboration to make both teams flourish. It will track content usage and allow you to analyze how content is consumed by your team, how they’re sharing it externally and how their contacts are engaging with it.
With insight into content performance (inside and outside of the organization), marketing can continue to create powerful resources that are exactly what sales needs. As a result, usage of marketing content will increase organically and you will have created a self-sustaining ecosystem of sorts. Additionally, by using one solution to accomplish all of this you will have essentially brought everyone under “one roof” making it easier for digital collaboration and communication to take place.
3. Marketing content is not being used.
There are several reasons marketing content may have low usage. For example, you can have low usage because sales can’t find or access the materials. In this situation it’s time to organize and centralize the assets and maybe implement a tool to help easily navigate, or surface relevant materials.
Maybe they simply don’t know the materials exists? Coordinate a campaign for content promotion and distribution or find a tool to automate that for you. Or perhaps your reps have easy access to the content, but they’re not clear or confident about how to use it? Sales coaching, sales playbooks, or guided selling tools can help you streamline this kind of support for your sales team.
If the problem seems to be that they’re hesitant to try something different from what they’re comfortable and familiar with. Content performance metrics and user ratings can help build confidence in what’s working and get sales excited to use what marketing’s putting out.
Regardless of why, the solution to this problem should not fall solely on Marketing. Projects like this typically require the buy-in and support of sales and leadership, especially in large organizations.
4. Marketing is still busy locating and distributing sales materials.
Marketing plays an invaluable role in your sales enablement strategy. However, it is very easy to misuse them and stifle the value they bring to the table.
Because they are your researchers, your content contributors, your organization’s story tellers and more, they tend to know the material best and it’s easy to fall back on them for administrative assistance. Does “Can your resend the latest version of that file?” or “Can you review this to make sure it’s compliant?” sound familiar?
If your sales cycle is a movie, then your sales reps are the actors and your marketing team is the production crew. They’re your scriptwriters, your sounding board, your set designers. On a Hollywood set, the interns go get the coffee. So, find a sales enablement solution that can automate the administrative tasks and let the creative minds focus where they deliver the most value to your production.
5. Customers are asking for more information?
Sometimes organizations can do a wonderful job communicating their message internally. Reps go out into the field feeling 100% equipped and supported only to get asked by a customer to provide MORE information.
If you’re running into this frequently, it may be indication that important questions remain unanswered in your current sales process. Take a step back to examine where there may be gaps or if your messaging is unclear to an outsider. Looks for identifiable trends or patterns in the requests. For example, if you notice you always get requests for more information from a particular vertical, maybe you’re not comprehensively addressing an industry issue or regulation? Or maybe that particular audience is just more technical in nature and you need to be prepared to get granular.
This is another area where an advanced solution can come in handy. Something that can help you audit your content library and categorize your content types to help identify any gaps in your organization’s messaging.